Writers' Cage Match: How to Get Your Asterisk Kicked!
If you're like me, this writing thing just isn't working out. I write and labor in ignominy while being largely ignored by the general reading public. Meanwhile amateurs like Tom Clancy and John Grisholm get rave reviews from their critics and receive book deals and movies-of-the-week as I languish in obscurity.
Imagine the disappointment I feel after routinely producing quality literary works and then rush to post them; giddy with expectation. Sitting by the email, I perch like a vulture, beside my browser and wait. Any moment my in-box should begin popping like a popcorn maker, filled with effusive praise from the literary community while I become the envy of my peers. And then ...nothing happens. People just don't read literary masterpieces today, at least not mine.
So if you're in the same plight, I feel your pain. I've tried everything to improve my writing but to no avail. And since plagiarism is frowned upon, my prospects don't appear promising.
I suspect even my third grade teacher never actually read any of my book reports or essays, the ones I actually turned in. I imagine she just picked the paper up, saw my name scrawled illegibly across the top of the page, and recoiled in disgust. And then she arbitrarily gave me a 'D' or an 'F', depending on what type of mood she happened to be in at that moment, crotchety or extra crotchety. Perhaps your teacher wasn't a peevish old bat, however, mine had the disposition of a porcupine with a bad case of hemorrhoids.
Anthropologists are appalled to find the cultural tastes of mankind, after 20,000 years of forward progress, are going against the evolutionary paradigm here!
The bottom line is its getting harder to find gullible and naïve readers who will actually read anything. My research indicates readers, who could actually appreciate my level of ability, have the literary appreciation of a grapefruit. It's time we face the ugly truth, we're competing with a sophisticated clientele demanding quality entertainment, like Jersey Shore, and The Kardashians.
I'm sure Anthropologists are appalled to find the cultural tastes of mankind, after 2,000 years of forward progress, are going against the evolutionary paradigm here. As we evolve into higher life forms than our slack-jawed Neanderthal predecessors, our palette for reading is declining. People used to read works by people like Charles Dickens and all that highfalutin stuff the teacher made us read against our constitutional rights; now they sit glued to the TV while their brains are sucked right out of their heads -especially during the commercial breaks.
I've resorted to lottery tickets and raffles but to no avail. I even gave away an expensive car once; things went well until the guy that actually owned the car complained. I suppose I should have told him about my promotion first.
Yes, I am seriously advocating two writers squaring off in a ring, wearing spandex, and bashing each other with their laptops while they call each other names.
In a desperate attempt to attract readers, I propose we, the writers enlist more dramatic forms of entertainment to attract readers. I'm talking about good old-fashioned showmanship; not crass efforts like carnival barkers, or even a shameless car dealership commercial. I say we take our cue from the experts -those guys in the professional wrestling sports entertainment industry, the WWE or other well respected sports venues. Let's face it, do people tune in to watch wrestling? No. There isn't a demand for overweight guys in speedos grappling unless you have some sort of weird fetish. The viewers tune in to watch a soap opera with men in tights pounding each other senseless. It's those cheesy shenanigans that draws the crowd.
So in that vein, I propose we have ...Writer's Cage Matches!
Who needs talent when you got two writers pounding each other over the head with metal folding chairs while competing for readers? Now that's quality entertainment! Suddenly the readers are clamoring for more.
Yes, I am seriously advocating two writers squaring off in a ring; bashing each other with their laptops while they call the other names. When a referee steps in to stem the mayhem and carnage, suddenly the ring is flooded with evil cohorts who bash their opponents senseless, and send them to the hospital, who miraculously recover from their comas just in time for the next highly televised grudge match.
I admit I don't look all that great in tights since my love handles spill out over the spandex but since you can't actually 'see' me when I write, my readers won't suddenly be seized with the urge to gouge out their eyeballs as I step into the ring.
Every good marketing strategy needs cheesy antics!
- change writers names to catchy ones like The Syntax Mauler, or, The Prose Mangler.
- engage in frequent disputations where one writer insults the intelligence of another.
- resort to elaborate but underhanded tactics to maim or slander your opponents.
- costumes and masks aren't required since our readers can't actually see us wearing them.
And now for the play-by-play...
Narrator 1: Ooohh! Jargon, the Mauler, kicked him right in the gerund. That's gonna leave a mark!
Narrator 2: He comes back with a vicious run-on sentence Looks like his participle is dangling, he may be hurt!
Narrator 1: The doctor said he fragmented his sentence.
Narrator 2: Yeah. They hit him so hard, I think it split his infinitive wide open!
Narrator 1: He looks mad now. He's moving in for the knock out. Ooohh! The Grammar-Mangler just tripped over his own vocabulary. I don't believe it. Wait? Both writers just quit pummeling each other and jumped on the editors. What a vicious attack! Take that for your submission guidelines! What a melee?! There's blood and typos all over the place. Here comes security. Folks, It's brutal out there tonight!
Ding, ding, ding....as the ring breaks out into a melee. The TV fades out to a commercial for bladder control products...
Those guys at the WWE, they just know how to market. I think this just might work!
Alright, who's first?!!
Is a cage match for writers a terrible idea?
© 2013 Jim Henderson